Seven Days in Solitary [9/29/13]

by | September 29, 2013

solitary confinement cellThe following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts.

• Reporting on the 1972 trial of Herman Wallace, the outcome of which landed him in solitary confinement for over four decades, The Atlantic writes on the meaning of Wallace’s life and “[w]hat a sham trial in Louisiana says about the U.S. court system.”  

• reports on the solitary confinement of youth in long-term solitary confinement, which the piece notes is “standard practice for tens of thousands of juveniles in prisons and jails across America.”

• The Los Angeles Times reports that U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken has stated that she is likely to allow a lawsuit maintaining that solitary confinement at Pelican Bay qualifies as psychological torture to expand to include about 1,100 held in indefinite isolation.

• The Guardian reports on Herman Wallace’s fight to be released from prison in light of his terminal liver cancer diagnosis. The piece states, “A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana last week recommended that despite his medical condition, which doctors have concluded is beyond hope, he should remain incarcerated and effectively die in prison.”

• The Mercury News publishes a piece in which Kevin McCarthy, who has been held in isolation in the state of California since 2002, describes his life in solitary confinement. He writes, “I don’t remember what human touch feels like. The only color around me is a grayish white.”

The Denver Post reports that half of 33 Colorado parolees who were charged with murder since 2002 were held in solitary confinement. According to the story, “Several went either directly from solitary to the streets or had only weeks to interact with people before their release to Colorado communities.”


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